LGUs now allowed to purchase COVID-19 rapid test kits
MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) are now allowed to purchase rapid test kits approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the Philippines looks to impose a more aggressive COVID-19 testing program, Malacañang said Thursday.
“Alinsunod po ito sa sinabi ng Presidente, siya po ang mananagot sa paggamit ng rapid test kits,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised press briefing.
This comes even as the Department of Health (DOH) has repeatedly rejected the use of rapid antibody test kits for mass testing as these could produce false-negative results that could lead to the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Health Department previously said that tests based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) should remain the “gold standard” in determining if patients had contracted SARS CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19.
If patients test negative or positive using the rapid antibody test kit, their results need to be confirmed using the PCR test, the DOH said.
The government has introduced a more aggressive testing drive as coronavirus infection in the country continues to rise despite having implemented one of Asia’s strictest and earliest lockdown measures.
To date, there are 11,876 confirmed cases of the respiratory disease, including 2,337 recoveries and 790 deaths.
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